The delivery of the first of two Hybrid Multi-Purpose Surveillance Vessels to Blue Octagon, an Israeli securities solutions firm, has taken place in the Eems harbour near Delfzijl. Having successfully completed her sea trials in mid-October this year, De Hoop’s yard number 457, named DB Abuja, is now ready to perform her tasks, set by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), in Nigeria’s waterways. In the final week of November 2019, the second vessel for NIMASA – yard number 459, named DB Lagos – was towed to the Eems harbour for the final stages of completion and sea trials to be performed.
Blue Octagon – the Deep Blue Concept
The vast expanses of the world’s oceans can hide a wide range of criminal and terrorist activity, such as illegal fishing, espionage, terrorism, oil theft, illegal immigration, smuggling and piracy. The perpetrators of these wrongdoings are becoming increasingly sophisticated and employ state of the art technology.
Deep Blue is based on an “early detection” approach for High-Tech coastal security. It aims to prevent illegal activity through the shifting of the defensive perimeter away from the maritime frontiers of the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of the country, by identifying and analysing suspicious activity at the earliest possible moment.
Using a range of sophisticated sensors, Deep Blue creates a multi-layered security grid that is employed by fully equipped special mission vessels – including fast interceptors with far reaching observation systems, satellite interception equipment, maritime predictive systems, surveillance systems and intervention teams – working in conjunction with mission specific aircraft and cyber intelligence equipment. Combined, these serve as a dedicated system for improving maritime security in the EEZ.
The project offers a comprehensive and innovative solution and includes various well-equipped tools such as: Maritime aircrafts with navigation and communication systems, helicopters, armoured vehicles with communication and safety equipment, interceptors (fast boats), special mission vessels and unmanned air vehicles, all with the capacity to communicate with each and every tool and piece of equipment, as well as with the command and control and operation centre, which controls the entire project. In addition, the project includes various instructors such as trainers, analysts, pilots, mechanics, project manager, IT manager, system manager etc.
Along with proper management of the maritime resources, Deep Blue provides unquestionable economic added value, by contribution to customs revenues through the fines and return on investment. Compared to other projects, billions of dollars were saved within three years, while direct revenues of thousands of millions dollars were generated.
Deep Blue Project – Nigeria
Nigeria, located at a strategic point of the Gulf of Guinea, is one of the busiest maritime areas in the world. The country’s coastline covers 853 kilometres and its Exclusive Economic Zone is more than 77,000 square meters. This forces Nigeria to adopt new, pioneering and advanced security solutions for protecting their coastlines and seaborne assets, that offer a complete overview of the relevant areas and everything occurring within them – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The goal of Blue Octagon, under the Deep Blue Project, is to assist the government of the Republic of Nigeria, through NIMASA (a governmental body comparable to the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat), to establish Integrated National Coastal Surveillance and Waterways protecting solutions, with command and control infrastructure, in the nations territorial waters; within which Blue Octagon will design and implement equipment, Hi-Tech systems and solutions, as well as training and operating periods.
NIMASA is responsible for regulating ‘shipping, maritime labour and coastal waters’ in Nigeria. NIMASA also undertakes inspections and provides search and rescue services. Once on-site, DB Abuja and DB Lagos have three main objectives under the training of Blue Octagon:
- Control of responsible use of the Exclusive Economic Zone of Nigeria, including assisting in cases of oil spills or other contamination;
- Monitoring of safety at sea and various other services to NIMASA, including supervision on topics such as fishing;
- Providing information to NIMASA regarding compliance with (inter)national legislation and obligations.
Hybrid Multi-Purpose Surveillance Vessels
The technically advanced ships have again exploited Shipyard De Hoop’s knowledge and experience in luxury cruise vessels to provide a high standard accommodation. This includes low noise and vibration levels and added features to provide crew with an exceedingly high level of comfort.
Custom designed by De Hoop to stringent environmental control, the hybrid diesel-electric powered 55metre vessels are constructed primarily for low fuel consumption. The DP2-class vessels are developed for continuous operations 24 hours per day and are capable of remaining on station autonomously for at least 30 days. The superstructures and hulls provide integrated accommodation for up to 36 people on each vessel. Special detachable units, containing offices and storage spaces, are positioned on fore and aft deck and connected to the vessel’s systems by means of receptacles and hose connections. On the aft deck unit, a basic type helicopter-landing platform is mounted, suitable for an AW109Trekker or Grand New. On the aft deck to starboard side is a dedicated hydraulic pivoting A-frame davit, which is suitable for launching and retrieving an interceptor boat of maximum 5000kg. To portside, a SOLAS approved hydraulic pivoting davit is fitted, to handle a MOB workboat with a total mass of maximum 3000kg.
The vessels are powered by a unique hybrid diesel-direct/diesel-electric system. At low speed and during manoeuvring, only one diesel engine will be used to drive a generator, which produces power for two electric motors (driving the propeller shafts through the gearboxes) and a bow thruster. This provides fuel savings at low speed up to 12knots and when in Dynamic Positioning mode. At high speed, both diesel engines will engage directly with the gearboxes to provide up to 4700kW to the two fixed-pitch propellers (directly driven through the gearbox).
The multi-chine all-steel hull is optimised for fuel efficient operations, during both transit and DP modes. The lightweight steel construction is built according to Lloyd’s High Speed Craft (HSC) rules, whilst weight reductions have been achieved by using High Tensile Steel in combination with sophisticated construction techniques. The small entrance angles of the waterlines and the ‘long’ bowlines have the additional advantage of improved seagoing characteristics and thus less speed loss in more challenging sea states. Even at a speed of 20 knots, the accelerations remain well within the comfort levels, while the extended and flared upper bowlines reduce the amount of green water and deck wetness. To further increase the sea-keeping characteristics and to reduce the wave resistance, the stern is fitted with a hull-vane unit.
Length, over all : 55.00 m
Length, between perpendicular : 49.95 m
Length, waterline (2.50m) : 51.50 m
Beam, moulded : 9.00 m
Depth, moulded : 4.50 m
Draught, max : 3.10 m
Speed, max : 21 kts
4 crew in 2 twin-berth cabins
32 crew in 4 quadruple-berth cabins
Total on board :
36 crew members in 10 cabins
Type of propulsion: Hybrid Diesel-direct / Diesel-Electric Propulsion
Main power: 2 Caterpillar main engines/generator set combi
Auxiliary power : 1 Caterpillar 4.4 generator set
Diesel propulsion mode (appr 21 kts) : 2x 2350 bkW at 1800rpm
Electric propulsion mode (appr 12kts) : 2x 350 kW e-motors for aft main thrusters : 1x 135 kW e-motor for bow thruster
Classification : Built to Lloyd’s High Speed Craft (HSC) rules
Hull : 100A1 SSC G4 MCH DP(AM) Patrol
Fuel oil 190 cu.m
Fresh water 27 cu.m
Treated sewage 12 cu.m
Sewage 4.4 cu.m
Bilge water 2.4 cu.m
Coolant water 0.9 cu.m
Dirty oil 2.0 cu.m